What To Do If You Are A Volunteer Coordinator Who Has Been Laid Off | Track It Forward

What To Do If You Are A Volunteer Coordinator Who Has Been Laid Off

Written by Kasey Murphy

COVID-19 started taking over the employment spectrum in February 2020, and as we near Fall 2020, many organizations are still struggling to keep up with locking down or functioning in this new normal.

As of April 2020, 52% of low-income adults reported that they or someone in their household have lost their job or experienced a reduction in pay directly caused by the pandemic. And that is just in general, from March to May, COVID erased an estimated 1.6 million nonprofit jobs alone. 

If you have found yourself to be one of the 1.6 million, or you have been laid off from a nonprofit job like volunteer coordinating, we want to help you feel at ease. We have gathered a list of things that you can do or look into after you have been laid off to help you get back on the right path! 

Unfortunate Unemployment Stats - You are not alone if you have been laid off due to COVID-19!
April 2020-52% of low-income adults reported that someone in their house lost their job.
1.6 million nonprofit jobs alone were lost from March-May.
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What To Do When You Get Laid Off? 

We know that many people’s first response will be, “I need to find a new job, immediately,” and while this may make you feel better at first, there are some other options to consider, too! Everyone’s experience with getting laid off is going to be different, this guide is just a couple of things to consider doing. 

If you have gotten laid off working in nonprofit organizations, or as a volunteer coordinator, there are definitely some things that you will go through that will be different from a different job. Volunteer coordinators will definitely miss the volunteers they have connected with and the sense of purpose working for an organization that has such a strong mission. It is important to evaluate your feelings after getting laid off to help analyze what your next steps should be! We will explain more below! 

If you have gotten laid off during COVID-19, or in general, there are many things that you can do to help prepare yourself for the right path moving forward, here are some of the options! 

1. Take Time For Yourself

This may seem odd, but it is something that needs to be done at some point in time after you have gotten laid off. Especially if you were someone who was constantly busy, we know many volunteer coordinators are pretty busy all the time. 

After getting laid off, you may not feel the stress right away, oftentimes people just feel like they are on a vacation or something for the first few days after not returning to work. 

We think you should take advantage of this time. Moving forward after losing your job there will be a lot of self-reflection and analyzing your next steps. This can a) be very stressful for someone who has just gotten life-changing news, and b) be difficult to process if you don’t have a good relationship with processing your feelings. 

So, take some time for yourself, get a massage, read a book, or learn a new hobby. Just for a little bit, do something that will make you feel happy while not being busy! 

What To Do If You're A Volunteer Coordinator & You've Been Laid Off
Some steps you can take, in whatever order you find best suitable! 

Firstly, it may seem odd - but you should always take some time to reflect and take some time for yourself. It is easy to rush to panic, but if you let yourself enjoy being alone with your thoughts, you may be able to come up with a great plan of action following being laid off. 

1. After Taking Time For Yourself - File For Unemployment.
2. Self-reflect and solve internal struggles
3. find relatable communities
4. analyze overall job satisfaction.
5. find ways to better yourself in future careers
6. volunteer
7. apply for new jobs 2. File For Unemployment

Unemployment should always be available to you, during COVID it is a bit higher. You should reach out to your state’s department of employment in order to file for unemployment. There are many different ways that you can get on some sort of unemployment if you have been laid off.

Do not hesitate to reach out to your employer for more information on how to gain access to unemployment paychecks. Your organization’s HR set it up for you as a safeguard, and now you need it! So they can also be of assistance. 

To find out more information about how to file for unemployment, check out this article. Specifically for volunteer coordinators or nonprofit workers, here is an article for you, if your organization is not clear on its unemployment setup. 

Once you secure some sort of financial assistance, you should be able to relax just a little bit more. Throughout this process, just remember that this will help solve some financial burden, and once you have it figured out it should be a weight lifted off of your shoulders!

3. Self-reflect and Solve

After getting laid off, you may experience a lot of emotions, these could be guilt, shame, confusion, and more. It is so important that you evaluate and validate these feelings, or else you may not be able to move on to other jobs with a clear head. 

For volunteer coordinators, specifically: 

  • If you are missing your volunteers - reach out to them and see if they want to social distance hang out with you. 

  • If you are feeling overwhelmed ashamed, research how many people are getting laid off right now and find some community - you are definitely not alone. 

  • If you are missing having multiple projects to plan - start thinking about a project you can do for yourself, your home, or for your family. 

  • If you are missing working with a nonprofit or an organization with a strong mission - see if you can find other ways to do this. 

4. Find Communities 

You’d be surprised how many communities there are that are supportive, both online and in-person. Finding a community to share your feelings or feel less alone with will be great for your attitude moving forward. 

You may learn something new about yourself or the world around you in one of these communities! Here are a few examples: 

You can also reach out to fellow volunteer coordinators to see how their role is doing, and if they know of any organization or volunteer program that may need some assistance. 

5. Analyze Your Overall Job Satisfaction 

Sometimes, getting laid off is a blessing in disguise. You may be exiting a job that really was not for you anyway. So, after you have been laid off, it is important to evaluate how happy you were at your job, to begin with. Did you like it because it was a job or did you like what you were doing? 

A lot of times, getting laid off can be a turning point in a career. Start to evaluate the following things: 

  • What did you like about your job?

  • What did you dislike about your job? 

  • Do you like working with people?

  • Do you like working on projects? 

  • Do you like to have autonomy or every day to be different? 

If you were a volunteer coordinator and you are thinking of switching career paths after being laid off, here are some options to consider: 

  • Program Director / Manager (at a nonprofit organization or any other organization)

  • Social Media Manager (for a nonprofit organization)

  • Community Affairs Manager

  • Nonprofit Organization Ambassador

  • Event Manager 

6. Find Ways To Better Yourself In Your Career

Whichever pathway you choose to continue in, you can find ways to better yourself while you are in between jobs or searching for new job opportunities! 

Especially during COVID, there have been so many virtual classes and opportunities that you can take advantage of, a lot of them are discounted, or free, too! 

You can attend virtual conferences to boost your knowledge on different topics within your area of expertise, or to learn more about different job areas that you might be interested in. 

Look up virtual conferences about anything you are interested in learning more about and I’m sure you will find something! 

You can also try to get yourself more qualified for certain positions. For example, look into taking the CVA exam if you have not already done so, it can help you look like a more qualified volunteer coordinator after you were laid off. 

If you don’t want to go back into course-mode or school-mode, we understand. But even just little things like researching different trends or new things in the job market that you are looking for could make a world of difference during interviews. 

For example, if you are looking to be a volunteer coordinator again after being laid off, you can educate yourself on different volunteer programs, different management styles for volunteers, and even different volunteer technology like time tracking software and volunteer management software.

If you are extremely passionate and educated about volunteer management, and have the data and research to prove it, it will help you when you are ready to find another job! 

7. Volunteer! 

In general, volunteering after you have been laid off or furloughed is a great way to find a sense of community and purpose outside of your situation. 

Especially if you are a volunteer coordinator that has been laid off if you go and volunteer after this, it shows that you are very passionate about volunteering and you do it even when you don’t have to! 

Studies show that 82% of employers are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience - and this is for all jobs in general, think about how much more important this would be for volunteer coordinators. 

By putting yourself into a volunteer position, you are allowing yourself to gain more perspective when you are going to be a volunteer coordinator again, and this is a huge asset! 

Volunteering also is just extremely beneficial to your mental health, you can see more stats on that here! 

8. When you are ready, start applying to other jobs. 

And lastly, only apply for new jobs when you are ready and feel like the best version of you. It is very easy to get frustrated when applying for jobs, especially after you have gotten laid off. So, you need to be in a great mental state to do this! 

Luckily, since May there have been around 666,000 nonprofit jobs advertising, which is great! But, keep in mind that this is still a reduction of over 975,000 since February. It is a tough market right now, so keep your head up! 

We have created a full guide on how to structure your resume, where to find jobs, and how to nail your interview, when you do decide to start looking for jobs again, check it out!